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Topic Title: IET Response To Energy Bill
Topic Summary: Claims a dramatic reduction in demand is a 'step forward'
Created On: 29 December 2012 11:49 AM
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 29 December 2012 11:49 AM
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Ipayyoursalary

Posts: 265
Joined: 21 November 2009

from the E&T article here

The IET welcomed ...the proposals for a dramatic reduction in electricity demand. "The announcement of Government plans to reduce electricity consumption is an important, and long overdue, step forward," said Dr Simon Harrison, chair of the IET's Energy Policy Panel. "It echoes calls from the engineering profession for the UK to get serious about the contribution that energy-use reduction... can make to security of supply, environment, and costs.

I think it would be hard to find a quote that better illustrates the pessimistic, malthusian thinking of those in control of the IET. These people seem to view the wonderful, life saving, life enhancing power of electricity as an evil to be carefully rationed out to the plebs by extortionate pricing and intentional powercuts.

Dr Harrison certainly doesn't speak for me, nor thousands of electronic and electrical engineers like me who see a bright future of ever more electronic devices and services that improve peoples lives - enabled by a rising supply of cheap energy - and yes - a rising demand for the cheap, abundant, coal and gas-fired energy that makes all these things possible.

Edited: 29 December 2012 at 11:56 AM by Ipayyoursalary
 29 December 2012 06:59 PM
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ectophile

Posts: 551
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Given that I have to pay for electricity*, why on earth would I want my demand to be constantly increasing?

What I want are more energy-efficient appliances that use less electricity to do the same job.

*except when it's free from my solar panels.

-------------------------
S P Barker BSc PhD MIET
 30 December 2012 03:32 AM
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nm234

Posts: 35
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Absolutely correct Ectophile on your first line.

Regardless of energy efficiency, the UK government will still need to make money out of it. A bit like window tax and 80% on every litre of fuel.

Yes we all want more efficient electrical/electronic products, and the National Grids forcast have taken this into measure: See their 2020 analysis as power demand will continue to curtail slightly with efficiency, but the energy prices will continue to increase and the Lord Farquaad's in Central Government will still seek anyway of keeping worker ants down.

Remember the Government don't care about the masses. If they did, they would have protected the word "Engineer". ;-)
 30 December 2012 12:45 PM
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westonpa

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Originally posted by: ectophile
Given that I have to pay for electricity*, why on earth would I want my demand to be constantly increasing?

What I want are more energy-efficient appliances that use less electricity to do the same job.

Surely you made the decision that you wanted your demand to increase when you purchased the item in the first place and if you do not want it to constantly increase then you would not constantly purchase more items. So in answer to your question, because you chose it.
Regards.
 30 December 2012 07:08 PM
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ADJONES

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Surprising, I'd thought electricity demand would be expected to increase in the long term as it's the most likely candidate for replacing natural gas and petroleum fuels for heating and transport.

De-carbonise the electricity supply and improve efficiency, sure, but aiming to reduce total electricity demand must have some major ramifications on how the other large energy uses can be de-carbonised.
 31 December 2012 01:13 AM
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Ipayyoursalary

Posts: 265
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You can plot nice graphs of the rising demand for electrical power for various countries here on google's data visualisation site.

Most countries have increased their electricity consumption 4 fold since the 1960s, and the trend shows no sign of slowing down. Nor should we wish it to slow down, since energy consumption is strongly linked to the wealth and life expectancy of a country's people. If energy demand is declining, it means a country is manufacturing less, its people are getting poorer and living shorter harsher lives. What sort of goals are these for an engineering institution policy panel?

Dr Harrison is clearly a proponent of the green agenda - neatly summed up by one of its most vocal advocates: George Monbiot
It is a campaign not for abundance but for austerity. Not for more freedom but less. Strangest of all it is a campaign not just against other people, but against ourselves.

In my humble opinion, this policy of despair should have no place in a practical engineering institution. I don't know about you but I became an engineer to make cool things that people want. Things that make people's lives better. Not to campaign to restrict peoples lives nor to make people poorer.

PS. Good point ADJONES. Any move to electric vehicles will certainly produce a massive increase in electricity demand - so Dr Harrison's statement isn't even self consistent with the rest of his 'green agenda'.

Edited: 31 December 2012 at 01:36 AM by Ipayyoursalary
 31 December 2012 11:31 AM
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acsinuk

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I certainly agree with Upay that we should not go backwards into austerity. The January issue of E&T on p18 details the 3 pronged approach that I think the government is being advised to adopt.
Looking at the right hand column of definitions we need to clarify what exactly is meant by CfD. If it means in reality that the government [or its new government owned company] will partner and fund private R&D projects that look hopeful in developing green reliable sources of energy such as tidal then all well and good. But will it also fund research into safe fracking or CO2 absorption in the earth to make calcium carbonate in alkali soils then OK but maybe not quite so good.
Then we get to the Capacity Market auction definition. If this means a guaranteed way to meet the peak capacity in MW then OK but note both solar and wind energy must be excluded as they are not a predictable form of energy on cold winter evenings. However, 75% of tidal energy if widely established around the shoreline could and should be included which also already attracts the renewables ROC payment as well.
Fracked oil or gas that is held in reserve for generation is a hydrocarbon based fuel and does not qualify for ROC but can be used by National Grid who have apparently been appointed scapegoat to make sure we can meet the peak demand from 2014.
The idea of linking reduced peak demand to standard of living is incorrect. Again, we can use more power on average but we need to reduce the grid peak demand and this can be done by proper tariffs that penalize the use of power at peak not this nonsense we have at the moment on off peak. Further, one for one payments should be offered to large energy using organizations who accept within an hour disconnection two to one payment for within 10 minutes and three to one payment for 1 minute or less. Many companies have their own private standby generators which automatically pickup if the supply fails and this energy resource can then be included as firm. These rates should be agreed in advance; possibly even four to one for instantaneous disconnection. E.G. If normal load for data centre is 1MW then charge would normally be say £60 per MWh. Grid would pay £240 for every hour they leave their supply off.
CliveS
 31 December 2012 01:22 PM
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westonpa

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Originally posted by: Ipayyoursalary
In my humble opinion, this policy of despair should have no place in a practical engineering institution.

I think if they had stuck to, for example, improving the energy efficiency of equipment, generation, electrical transmission, etc., as opposed to talking about wholesale energy reduction then it would have made more sense. There is a lot of good engineering which can be done to improve energy efficiencies which would make improvements and fit well within an engineering institution, i.e., which would leave the engineers to engineer. I think the IET needs to focus more on the engineering and less on the politics.

PS. Good point ADJONES. Any move to electric vehicles will certainly produce a massive increase in electricity demand - so Dr Harrison's statement isn't even self consistent with the rest of his 'green agenda'.

But it will not matter because some people cannot join the dots and will simply say in a few years time "oops we made a mistake but we can assure you lessons will be learned bla bla bla" and then they will likely be off to get their OBE or CBE.

The general policy the government has is to increase tax and then wait and see how businesses and householders will work to reduce their energy use and then it will then write this up as its own success. All that will happen is that we will end up paying more for less.

Regards.
 31 December 2012 01:41 PM
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westonpa

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Originally posted by: acsinuk
Many companies have their own private standby generators which automatically pickup if the supply fails and this energy resource can then be included as firm.

The company I work for is a large energy user and a standby generator to power it would need to be half the size of the site and would not be able to cold start quick enough to avoid disruption to the manufacturing processes. Businesses require stable and reliable energy supplies in order to provide stable and reliable manufacturing processes. The better solution would be for businesses to look at ways to improve their energy efficiencies, so they use less energy to do the same job, and also learn to manage their manufacturing processes with energy use in mind such that, for example, they do not have several high energy processes all switching on at the same time. For the large energy users this would generally require installation of a good metering and monitoring system in order to understand what equipment is using what and when. The company I work for has an energy manager with 30 years experience whereas most companies just do not have access to this level of expertise.....maybe we should seek to address that!

Regards.
 02 January 2013 08:33 AM
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ectophile

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Originally posted by: westonpa

Originally posted by: ectophile

Given that I have to pay for electricity*, why on earth would I want my demand to be constantly increasing?



What I want are more energy-efficient appliances that use less electricity to do the same job.


Surely you made the decision that you wanted your demand to increase when you purchased the item in the first place and if you do not want it to constantly increase then you would not constantly purchase more items. So in answer to your question, because you chose it.

Regards.


These days, many of us in the developed world have all the appliances we need. But when we replace old ones, we can get more efficient ones, and cut our power requirements at the same time.

I would like to see the energy usage of the developed world go down as that of the developing world rises. We don't have to slide into poverty - just be less wasteful.

I can't help wondering about the agenda of those who only want to see usage increase.

-------------------------
S P Barker BSc PhD MIET
 04 January 2013 12:24 AM
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Ipayyoursalary

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These days, many of us in the developed world have all the appliances we need.

Go back only 20 years and hardly anyone had a mobile phone, no-one had the internet at home, and few even had a PC. Today the average household has several internet appliances, consuming tens of gigabytes of audio and video every month. Not to mention increased numbers of TVs, dishwahers, tumbledryers, power showers, airconditioners.... I find the idea that progress should suddenly grind to a halt, with no new electric appliances being created from this day forward, perplexing to say the least. More perplexing still that an engineer would consider such a stand still to be a good thing.

I would like to see the energy usage of the developed world go down as that of the developing world rises.  We don't have to slide into poverty - just be less wasteful.

I would like to see the health and wealth of all mankind continue to increase as it has been doing. I don't care how much energy it takes - there's an infinite supply.  It's the resultant effect on human welfare and alleviation of human suffering I care about. I don't consider energy used to improve human lives 'wasteful'.  History tells us that health and wealth are directly proportional to energy usage, so advocates of energy rationing need to be upfront about the consequences of their policies. Then the public can make an informed choice about whether to vote for or against them.

I can't help wondering about the agenda of those who only want to see usage increase.

I can't help wondering about the agenda of those who want to see energy usage reduced by higher prices and rationing - adversely affecting the health and wealth of human beings.
 04 January 2013 09:06 AM
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ectophile

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Some people seem to think that the Earth is infinitely large, with infinite quantities of raw materials and an infinite capacity to handle all the pollution we produce.

Sadly, this is not so.

-------------------------
S P Barker BSc PhD MIET
 05 January 2013 01:03 PM
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westonpa

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Originally posted by: ectophile
I can't help wondering about the agenda of those who only want to see usage increase.

When it gets cold in the winter and you put your heating on you want to increase your energy use. When you go to work using a motorised method of transport you want to increase your energy use. When you turn on your TV you want to increase your energy use.

Taking an overall view, what's your agenda?

Regards.
 05 January 2013 01:10 PM
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westonpa

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Originally posted by: ectophile
Some people seem to think that the Earth is infinitely large, with infinite quantities of raw materials and an infinite capacity to handle all the pollution we produce.
Sadly, this is not so.

There is enough energy in a £5 note to power New York for a year when we have the technology to unlock it. Some people just need to think different and have a little bit more faith in human creativity and inventiveness.

Regards.
 05 January 2013 10:12 PM
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nm234

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"There is enough energy in a £5 note to power New York for a year when we have the technology to unlock it. Some people just need to think different and have a little bit more faith in human creativity and inventiveness."

completely agree with you, but the governments of today are so narrow minded and only think about putting their kids into private schools, and getting OBE's, that they don't give a s$%t about newer sources so they concentrate on old tactics to get more oil and gas, bully countries through wars. And poor British engineers in the UK are killing themselves to create Thorium reactors. This government has destroyed the meaning of "British engineers being the best in the world"

No wonder us British engineers are all leaving this God forsaken country spiralling into an Americanised cryptocractic Starbucks 9-5 fantasy world! Let me just do my expenses one second, ....... how pathetic have we become!
 06 January 2013 08:21 PM
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ectophile

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At the moment, we haven't got the faintest idea how to extract the energy from a £5 note, other than by burning it. People have been trying to get nuclear fusion to work for decades, and they still aren't there yet.

-------------------------
S P Barker BSc PhD MIET
 07 January 2013 10:26 PM
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westonpa

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Originally posted by: ectophile
At the moment, we haven't got the faintest idea how to extract the energy from a £5 note, other than by burning it. People have been trying to get nuclear fusion to work for decades, and they still aren't there yet.

My partner seems to get plenty of energy out of them.

Regards.
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